Altus Air Force Base
97 AMW Vision, Mission, and Goals
Colonel Jon T. “Ty” Thomas, Commander
“The Mighty 97th—Best in AETC for mission execution, Best in AF for support, Best of All as a great place to work and live!”
This vision statement tells you where we are going as a wing--we should always strive to be the best in what we do! As far as our mission is concerned, within AETC is the appropriate basis of comparison—our training mission is unique enough that to try and compare with a broader segment of our Air Force would quickly result in an “apples to oranges” comparison. However, for the support functions we perform, the vast majority are consistent and similar to every other Air Force base out there…and so our basis of comparison should be AF-wide. Finally, as a place to work and live, Altus AFB is a community similar to many others…so “Best of All” is the right target for where we want to be in comparison to other communities.
“Forging Combat Mobility Forces . . . Deploying Airman Warriors!”
We have two major pieces to our mission, and though accomplishing each one involves complex and challenging components, the message is straightforward. Each of us in this wing needs to understand how we individually enable the wing to accomplish this mission!
Forging Combat Mobility Forces: Our world-class instructors receive students from Undergraduate Pilot Training, the Basic Boom Operator Course and Basic Loadmaster Course and train them to operate our C-17 and KC-135 aircraft in combat and in other worldwide contingencies. They are also responsible for upgrading these aviators to instructor status, enabling them to accomplish training at the operational bases. Our instructors have the unique blend of competence, skill and relevance—they’ve been to the war and bring back the most effective techniques and recent operational knowledge. Yet even with all these skills, they can’t forge a single mobility aviator without support. Whether it be the safe, reliable aircraft that our A-Team maintenance provides, fuel from POL, the high quality airfield made possible by CE, a secure flightline thanks to SFS or dozens of other key elements, make no mistake—it takes the whole wing to forge combat mobility forces.
Deploying Airman Warriors: This responsibility spreads across the entire wing. Whether it is the deployment process, Combat Skills Training, initiatives within the Airman and Family Readiness Flight or any number of other deployment-related efforts, the importance of this part of our mission cannot be overstated. We owe it to our Airmen to ensure they are trained, equipped and ready to defend the flag anywhere across the globe. When they depart this base, every Airman should be confident that they are fully prepared, that their family will be well cared for while they are gone and that they will be welcomed back in a manner befitting their service.
The following goals are simplified but consistent with our 97 AMW Strategy Map, which has been an important document guiding our detailed efforts to become more efficient and effective in accomplishing our wing mission. We have many individual metrics which help measure our progress in achieving these goals…but for the sake of simplicity I’ve consolidated it all into three overarching goals which each one of you can achieve by working together.
“Safe and Timely Mission Execution”
As you read in our mission statement, there are two components here. We must execute our Programmed Flying Training (PFT) by graduating qualified students on-time in order to return them to their operational units ready to perform their own unit missions. At the same time, we must deploy Airmen tasked to support combatant commanders on time, with the right training and the right equipment. And we must do both safely, using sound Operational Risk Management (ORM) principles to identify, mitigate, and make informed decisions about the risks inherent in every task we perform.
“Cultivate Airmen Leaders”
In this case, the term “Airmen” is intended to cover all categories…officer, enlisted, and civilian…because each is a vital contributing member of our wing. “Cultivating Airmen Leaders” is a responsibility we all have…from the most senior commander to the most junior Airmen…and there are several components to it. First, this is about mentorship…taking the time to provide clear guidance, setting expectations, providing feedback, and helping chart a path for future success. Second, this is about timely and accurate documentation…contained in performance reports, decorations and awards for top performers, and when necessary, administrative action for less than satisfactory performance. Finally, this is about leveraging opportunities for development and improvement. Professional Military Education, advanced academic degrees, and technical/specialty courses are all ways to build future leaders…and it is the responsibility of both supervisors to create the opportunities for their Airmen as well as the responsibility of the individual Airman to take advantage of those opportunities.
“Provide Quality Support to Airmen and their Families”
This goal is listed last not because it is least important, but because it is the foundation for success in all that has come above! There are a multitude of things you do in support of our Airmen and Families—whether it is the cook in the dining facility or the caregiver at the child development center—and each and every one of them is important and critical to ensuring the mission is ultimately accomplished with success. In addition, we owe it to ourselves--to make Altus AFB the best place to work and live—so that we get the mission done and have fun doing it!